Safe Air Boeing 727 Collides With MD-82 at Malakal

A Safe Air Boeing 727 and African Express MD-82 after a collision at Malakal Airport.
Photo Credit: Jadec via Twitter/X

On March 31, 2024, a serious incident occurred at Malakal Airport (MAK) in South Sudan. A collision was reported, involving a Safe Air Boeing 727-200F cargo aircraft and a disabled African Express Airways MD-82 aircraft.

There were no reported injuries, but both aircraft sustained significant damage.

A Safe Air Boeing 727-200F, registration 5Y-IRE, was attempting to land when it collided with the parked MD-82. The 727 freighter aircraft had been conducting a cargo flight from Juba to Malakal with seven crew on board.

Runway Excursion and Collision

Local reports suggest the Safe Air 727 veered off the runway during landing, making contact with the stationary MD-82. The exact cause of the runway deviation is still under investigation.

In February, the MD-82 was involved in a landing incident at the same airport. The aircraft came up short of the runway and was unable to be moved, so it remained in situ.

An investigation into the incident is currently underway by South Sudanese aviation authorities. They will seek to determine the cause of the runway departure by the Safe Air 727 and assess the contributing factors to the collision.

This incident highlights the importance of runway safety procedures and clear communication between air traffic control and pilots.

Maintaining situational awareness during landing and adhering to established procedures are critical for preventing runway incursions and collisions.

The presence of a disabled aircraft near the runway also raises concerns about airport ground handling protocols.

Procedures for isolating and marking disabled aircraft to prevent accidental collisions need to be rigorously followed.

About Safe Air

Safe Air is a Kenyan charter airline established in 2001. They offer passenger and cargo services, with a focus on destinations across Africa, the Middle East, and potentially beyond depending on the specific charter. Here’s a breakdown of Safe Air:

  • Type of Airline: Charter Airline
  • Founded: 2001
  • Base: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Services: Passenger & Cargo Charters
  • Region Served: Primarily Africa and the Middle East, with potential for broader charters
  • Fleet: Mix of passenger and cargo aircraft, including Boeing 727s, Airbus A330s, and helicopters.

It’s important to note that their operations may have been suspended in November 2019 due to their Air Operating Certificate being revoked by the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority. However, sources indicate the AOC has since been reinstated.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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